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Physics - Complexity | Book of Extremes - Why the 21st Century Isn’t Like the 20th Century

Book of Extremes

Why the 21st Century Isn’t Like the 20th Century

Volume package: Copernicus

Lewis, Ted G.

2014, X, 184 p. 53 illus., 15 illus. in color.

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  • Why was the first decade of the 21st century as eventful and significant as the last 50 years of the previous century?
  • Proposes theories to explain extremes in a scientific as well as entertaining way
  • Describes why punctuated reality is bursty why systems that have worked for decades suddenly fail and why the well-being of entire nations is no longer in the hands of their leaders
  • Explains social movements such as the Arab Spring, as well as online social media movements like Occupy Wall Street
  • Shows how rigorous methods like network science and complex systems theory can be applied to explain seemingly unexplainable events
What makes the 21st century different from the 20th century? This century is the century of extremes -- political, economic, social, and global black-swan events happening with increasing frequency and severity. Book of Extremes is a tour of the current reality as seen through the lens of complexity theory – the only theory capable of explaining why the Arab Spring happened and why it will happen again; why social networks in the virtual world behave like flashmobs in the physical world; why financial bubbles blow up in our faces and will grow and burst again; why the rich get richer and will continue to get richer regardless of governmental policies; why the future of economic wealth and national power lies in comparative advantage and global trade; why natural disasters will continue to get bigger and happen more frequently; and why the Internet – invented by the US -- is headed for a global monopoly controlled by a non-US corporation. It is also about the extreme innovations and heroic innovators yet to be discovered and recognized over the next 100 years.Complexity theory combines the predictable with the unpredictable. It assumes a nonlinear world of long-tailed distributions instead of the classical linear world of normal distributions. In the complex 21st century, almost nothing is linear or normal. Instead, the world is highly connected, conditional, nonlinear, fractal, and punctuated. Life in the 21st century is a long-tailed random walk – Levy walks -- through extreme events of unprecedented impact. It is an exciting time to be alive.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Black Swan Events - Black Swan Theory - Chaos Theory History - Complexity Theory - Nonlinearity Social Science - Randomness Theory

Related subjects » Complexity - Statistical Physics & Dynamical Systems

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